I hate traveling on Sundays. I don’t know why. It just feels like a drag. It’s even worse when the weather is bad. The town I eventually drive to from the airport is depressing too. The downtown area is shuttered and boarded up. It looks like a ghost town. The economy here is really suffering it seems.
I can’t find the hotel. Mapquest tells me the hotel is on a certain street in the heart of the city, but it’s not there. I call the hotel to find out where they are. “Go past the Cluck and Moo restaurant on highway X until you get to the oil rig.” (No problem as there are only about a billion oil rigs around here) “Then make a right at the white house with the broken window” (Again, about a billion of those too.) “Keep going for awhile (please define “awhile”) until you see some trees.” (I’m getting a headache) “Turn left on that road (which road?) and keep driving until you see a dirt road” (someone please help me) “If you drive past a liquor store, you’ve gone too far”……etc., etc. It was only by the grace of God that I found the hotel. It was new and clean. Somebody loves me. I actually did see an oil rig surrounded by a fence right next to a gas station. Oh, the irony. You have to know that this country has oil dependence problems when you see an oil rig right next to a gas station.
Went to a fast food restaurant at noon the next day. Crowded as all get out. The guy in front of me is not there to order food. He’s there to explain to the manager that his girlfriend’s food order was wrong. This, in and of itself, is not so bad except for the fact that the aforementioned food order had taken place a week ago. (I’m getting a headache AND someone please HELP ME) The manager looks as perplexed as I do, but at least the guy is polite about the whole thing and this adds credibility to the complaint. He sounds like Ernest T. Bass from the Andy Griffith Show. He accepts a coupon for a future meal and while not completely satisfied with this result, he refrains from throwing rocks through the windows of the restaurant.
Everyone calls me “sir” down here. There is a lot to be said about a regional culture that is so respectful. It has much to do with the way that people are brought up around here. I reply with “sir” and “ma’am” too. It’s kind of catchy even though I would address people like that anyway. It’s funny how language has an infectious flavor, though. I do draw the line at “y’all” however. I don’t think I could feel comfortable saying that and besides, it would probably sound like I was pandering. Oh, what the heck. See y’all later!
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